Console Table Redo & Living Room Update

This new house has been a real interesting test for my style- it was built in 1920, but completely gutted and redone within the past year. Every room in the house is gray (which I love) and the floors are all brown toned (which I also love). The house calls out for wood, so I’m trying to strike a balance between answering that call but also mixing in whites and metals and some funk.

wide-shot-gray-and-wood-living-room

Our living room has the sectional from our previous home’s den and at first I wasn’t a huge fan of having such an informal piece of furniture in such a visible spot in the house, but we’ve already used this room SO MUCH more than the living room in our last house because it just feels more welcoming and flop-on-the-couch-able.

It looks a little cluttered and over-layered but it alls serves to protect from our 3 cats.  All 3 blankets (2 on the chairs, 1 on the couch) are positioned to prevent cat scratches on the backs/sides of furniture , and the cat tree is an unfortunate must as well. A better blogger may have staged more, but this is real life so this is what you see.

We have this console table from our old house that I really wanted to make work for this room too, but the reddish stain color was just not working and it had some deep scratches from some rude puppy paws. Perfect opportunity to try out a few new products!

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I used Citristrip and a hand sander to get this piece down to it’s natural wood tones. The Citristrip was… ok. I put one layer of it on, let it sit for an hour, and then scraped. This worked to get off the protective coat and some stain. I then put another layer of it on, let it sit for two more hours, then scraped, and it got off a bit more stain. I think it’d be more effective getting off paint than stain so I’m going to give it a try on another project before I fully decide how I feel about it.

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After round 2 with the gel I decided to just speed things up and grab my hand sander to finish the job. I got about 75% done sanding it and just…stopped. It looks really deconstructed and cool and it fits with the other two pieces of wood in the room so I decided to seal it up and leave it!

weathered-natural-wood-console-table

I used two coats of Country Chic Tough Coat to protect this piece and it worked great- it dried super, super fast and without any bubbles so I didn’t have to sand again afterwards.

country-chic-tough-coat-on-natural-wood

Full disclosure: they did send me the product free to try, but I am under no obligation to write about it or give a positive review. I did genuinely love this product and will be using it again!

natural-wood-side-table-wood-and-mixed-metal

On the other side of that partial wall is the kitchen (to the left) and the dining area (to the right, where the sliding doors are) so this is a nice transitional piece to fill that wall and add some storage (tablecloths, etc).

Overall, this space is really coming along and I’m tweaking it a bit every day.

open-concept-living-room

Plans and Goings On

Hi all! Things have unintentionally slowed down quite a bit here on the ol’ blog, but honestly we’re just enjoying our home and taking some time settling in.  I’m trying to take on a new vibe in this house. We’re here for the long haul, and it’s lovely as is, so I just want to be settled and happy and not constantly working on 900 projects even though I’m constantly thinking about 900 projects.

I do currently have one furniture redo underway, and I shared a peek of it on Instagram a few days ago. I used Citristrip to get off the sealer and cherry tinted stain and was about halfway through sanding it and sort of fell in love– I think I’m just going to clean up the legs a bit and then seal ‘er up and call it done. What do you think?

weathered-natural-wood-console-table

I also recently ordered this ah-mazing rug for our dining area. I’ve been creeping the Facebook page for this duo (The Novogratz) for months waiting for the pre-order and then I pounced! It arrives mid/late October and I’m already beyond obsessed with it. I love all things skull-y and I’m also trying really hard to incorporate color in to this house so this is obviously the most perfect rug ever made just for me with me in mind.

ivory-skull-rug-the-novogratz

My parents also offered to help us get a new dining table as a housewarming gift and at first I was like noooo I’m going to redo the one we have! I want projects! And it’s perfectly fine! Waste not want not! But then I discovered that zinc tables are a thing and now I can’t stop thinking about this one even though I’m pretty sure that’s an awful lot to spend on a table and it’s also like 150 pounds which seems insane but also super cool and unique and interesting. But the heart wants what the heart wants, amiright? Also, skull rug and zinc table? It’d be amazing.

zinc-dining-table-overstock-trestle

 

ANYWHO. We’ve got just about every box unpacked and I’m slowly slowly slowly starting to hang things on the walls. This house has such a different layout than our previous one, but I love all our framed art so much so I’m trying to find spots for everything that don’t appear cluttered or mismatched.

So. Next week I hope to be back with a write up on how I stripped that console table and what products I used to seal it up. And then I’m thinking maybe Halloween house tour video? Because even if I don’t get around to unpacking the boxes I sorttttt of keep Halloween decorations out year round anyway. (IE: SKULL RUG!) So I’ll be back with you soon! Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

Custom Master Closet

This is BY FAR the most exciting house related thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on- a custom master closet!

Our new house doesn’t have a ton of storage in it, so we really wanted to maximize the master closet. At first glance it seems pretty big, but it’s a rectangle shape so it’s hard to organize and figure out hanging rods. The back wall is about 47 inches long and the 2 usable sides are about 63 inches long each. The height is about 110 inches.

So… I decided to follow Donna’s advice and treat myself.

TREAT-YO-SELF

 I took all sorts of measurements, hopped in the car, and drove an hour to our nearest Container Store. The process was so easy– I brought in the measurements, I walked around the display closets with a sales associate and learned about options, and then she took about 45 min-1 hour to put together a design for me. I went with the elfa system, which is fantastic and literally what all my dreams are made of.

The sales associate both printed and emailed me the blueprints so I could take them home and look at it all in the space, then I emailed her some small changes and she re-rendered it for me. Here’s the original sketch rendering (they provide you with a blueprint style outline as well):

custom master closet blueprint

I opted to assemble the closet myself, and it took about four hours but once I got the hang of it, it was super easy. The time consuming part is spacing everything out in a way that works best for us, our  height, and our personal preferences. 

I don’t know why I was surprised by this, seeing as I bought the system from an organizational store, but the assembly instructions were SO GOOD. I had printed instructions, emailed instructions, then a customized video walk through based on what I ordered. Amazing.

The ride side is one metal strip anchored vertically to the wall with baskets hooked in. The left and back sides are are each one metal strip anchored horizontally to the wall and then everything else hangs off of it. It’s crazy sturdy! Also, because I chose to self install, they gave me a ton of wall anchors and a ton of wood screws since I didn’t know which I’d end up needing until I started drilling.

This closet is for my husband and I to split…which is a challenge because I could totally fill it all myself. But look how pretttttyyyy…..

elfa tcs birch and white wire closet

elfa container store master closet

The right side is for his ties/bowties/socks and also my flip flops and ballet flats. The left side is all mine and from top to bottom I’ve got duffel and beach bags, purses, works shirts/cardigans (hanging), a shelf for clutches, dress pants (drawer 1), regular pants (drawer 2), two rows of heel storage, and the floor for wedges. There’s also a valet rod (for steaming) and hooks on the side (for belts).

We are splitting the back wall. The left side is for my wedding dress (folded up top) long sleeve shirts, suit jackets and hoodies, then dresses and skirts hanging. Not pictured in this rendering, but I also added a wire basket all the way at the bottom to hold scarves. The right side is all for m husband- tshirts, dress shirts, dress pants, hoodies, etc.

Each shelf is about 90inches up off the floor, so I’ll need to get a small step stool in here. However, we tried to arrange it based on usage and season so things can move around pretty easily.

This was NOT cheap- I bought it during a 25% off sale and it ran just about $950 for the whole thing. However, it’s so pretty I want to cry actual tears whenever I open my closet door and also it’s insanely good quality. The whole thing is a wire and bracket system- but the finishing touches are what make it look so high end. Each of the brackets has a seamless plastic cover, each of the shelves has a wooden birch front panel and also a frosted plastic mat to lay down on it, everything is perfectly matched, and there’s even a cover for the track at the top so you can’t see any screws.

It’s all filled up now and a bit harder to photograph, also I have a large clothes hoarding problem so holy cow is it jam packed, but it fits way more than expected and if I could marry it I would.  :)

 

 

 

 

We Moved!

Hello all! I am SO EXCITED to finally announce that we have moved in to our new house- just 2.5 months later than planned!

new house- front look

We moved this past Friday in such a whirlwind chain of events, then spent the whole weekend getting settled with the help of friends and family.

I’ll be back to a regular once weekly blogging schedule soon and will fill you in on all the details, but in the meantime I took a very informal video tour via Facebook live so I thought I’d share it with you all. Click {here} to get to the video page of my site, it’s the one titled “New House Tour” (…duh)! The video is a little pixel-y because we don’t have internet set up at the house yet and my reception wasn’t great, but I was just too excited to wait!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

#BloggersWithHeart : A Habitat for Humanity Project

Hi all! I’m hopping back in after a bit of a blogging hiatus to talk about a really cool project I had the pleasure of being a part of, thanks to Charlotte from Ciburbanity.

blogger heart habitat- logo

This past fall Charlotte reached out to a bunch of north eastern bloggers to see if we’d be interested in helping her with a really big idea: fully decorate a Habitat for Humanity home as an amazing gift for it’s new family. I volunteered with Habitat while in college, so I was super pumped to be a part of this. There were 13 of us in total, 2-3 bloggers assigned to each room.

whole group outside of home- bwh project

I hooked up with Michelle (Weekend Craft) to design a teen boy room and we had so much fun! Luckily our friends at Hometalk donated some cash to each of us to complete the room, and our friends at Wayfair donated some gift cards. Michelle and I also got super lucky because Evey (Evey’s Creations) ended up with a Tuft & Needle mattress that didn’t fit in her trundle bed so our kiddo got a brand new mattress as well.

We tried to keep the room super simple because our boy was somewhere between 14-16 years old and we really wanted him to customize it himself. Did he like sports? Video games? Music? It’s so hard to tell at that age and we just had a few Pinterest images to point us in the right direction. What we did know was he liked sleek lines, wood, and simplicity. So here’s what we ended up with…keeping in mind the carpet isn’t down, the molding isn’t installed, and we really wanted to leave most of the walls and furniture bare for our boy to deck out himself.

pallet headboard DIY

bedrtoom lighting

The platform bed and end table were both from Wayfair, and Michelle made that awesome headboard herself. We then tacked up rope lights under the bed to give it a cool glow (more on that in a future post!). The bedding (included sheets and a pillow), and lamp is from Target.

wayfair dresser and hobby lobby shelf

The dresser was from Wayfair and the shelf was from Hobby Lobby- I wish we had bought two of them! And then extras for ourselves! I loved it.

Also… ahem… Sorry this picture is a bit blown out, the dresser was really dark and we had no lighting in the room other than the lamp- it took so long to get this all built and set up that we lost most daylight (and it’s a basement room).

teen boy room - nintendo art

For the foot of the bed I picked up a storage cube and spider chair from Target, a bluetooth speaker lamp from Amazon, and some headphones and a book light from Movie Stop. Michelle made the old school Nintendo art and we just mounted it with Command hooks so it’s easy to swap out if he’d prefer something else.

It may not be super glamorous, or styled to perfection, but it’s just what he needed- brand new everything and a clean slate to build off of. Evey did a live tour of the room with us while we were still at the house, so you can peep that HERE.

Interested to see the rest of the house? Michelle & I did a live video tour of the whole house while we were there and you can check it out HERE.  You can also hop around to the other blogger sites:

LIVING ROOM:
Jaime from That’s My Letter
Laura from Finding Home Farms
DINING ROOM/ DECK:
Kris from Driven By Decor
Annie from Most Lovely Things
MASTER BEDROOM:
Jillian from I Am a Homemaker
Charlotte from Ciburbanity
Bee from Windgate Lane
KIDS ROOM:
GUEST ROOM:
Lynn from On Fern Avenue
FOYER/ MUDROOM/ BATHROOMS:
Sarah and Nick from Nestrs
TEEN ROOM:
Michelle from Weekend Craft
Stephanie from Sandpaper and Glue
What do you think? When we first got started I was thinking we’d have SO MUCH money to burn because I’m used to re-decorating and not decorating from scratch. But man, beds and dressers and sheets and comforters and pillows all add up!
I hope we get the opportunity to do something like this again soon!

Spoiler Alert: We Still Have Not Moved

So this is now the third post in a row where I share that we have yet to move. I KNOW.

After three (!!!) extensions it turns out our buyers were not approved for their financing. Despite multiple confirmations from their team that they would be. How this was not discovered prior to the first closing date, or even by the second closing date, is something I have yet to wrap my head around. But it’s what happened so we’re all moving forward. I have moved through many, many emotions with this and have settled in a zone I call “hopeful disappointed-ness.” We have dropped these buyers (which in retrospect, we probably should have done 2 closings dates ago), re-listed our house, and explored new options. The house that we want is still on the market, so hopefully we can sell our home quickly enough to get back under contract with it- as that seller is, thankfully, still willing to work with us.

Our house has been back on the market for almost a week now and we’ve had about 8 showings, with more scheduled throughout this week and in to the weekend. I know all the downfalls of our home, but since I also know all the awesome of our home it hurts my heart a little when people pass over it. It’s such a lovely little house and I’m trying to remain optimistic that someone will buy it soon.

In the meantime, it’s still a very empty house and all of our belongings are currently sitting in a POD in our driveway. We’re working to slowly move some things out of the POD and in to our house (essentials like clothes and kitchenware), but we don’t want to  unpack too much since we’re still hoping to move within the next two months.

At this point, I think I’m going to take a bit of a leave of absence from this here blog. It’s such a bummer to come back week after week with no updates, no pictures, no progress. I can’t do house projects because our house is empty, and I can’t share plans because we’re in limbo, etc etc etc. So I’ll be back when I’ve got something more secure to share!🙂

 

A Slight Change of Plans

It is just before 8am on Tuesday morning, and until about 5:30pm last Friday night I thought this moment in my life would be spent nervously shuffling around our pets before heading to lawyers offices and banks for the day. We were supposed to sell our house at 9:30am and buy our new one at 1pm, but unfortunately that all got rescheduled.

This whole process has been a whirlwind, and honestly for as rushed as its felt it has gone by pretty smoothly- so we were bound to run in to some sort of snag.

Unfortunately there was some ill timed paperwork submission (not on our part) that has caused us to have to reschedule everything to Friday of this week. All of the paperwork for everyone was settled late afternoon on Friday of last week, but Massachusetts has something called a TRID regulation that requires 3 business days of down time after loan processing before anyone can buy. I don’t really understand it, but basically since yesterday was a holiday our three days are today-Thursday and so everything got pushed to Friday.

There was a solid period of time on Friday when I was afraid this move would not happen at all so I am glad that it is happening (overjoyed! relieved! breathless!), but still incredibly frustrated. Three days doesn’t sound like a long delay, but when you take in mind all that a move entails it really is:

  • Electricity/Water/Cable/Internet shutoffs had all been scheduled to shut off/transfer
  • Our POD move was scheduled and perfectly timed so we only had to pay to have it for a month
  • I have 4 bare root trees arriving to the new house tomorrow, which means I had to spend an extra $50 on buckets to temporarily plant them in once they arrive.
  • We had a glorious 12×16 shed scheduled to be built at our new house for Thursday and now theres $150 postponement fine and we have to wait a month and a half for it, which means all our yard stuff will have to go in the basement, which means I also can’t set up my workshop
  • I had outfit planned very carefully so that everything I didn’t need would be packed- so we’re limited on clothes and also don’t have a washer/dryer
  • We had taken off work for this and arranged for friends to help us and now their schedules have all been affected as well
  • We had pared down the fridge and pantry to minimize how much food we’d have to move and I had to go grocery shopping again
  • We had planned for my parents to come on Saturday and would have had 4 days to prep the house before showing it off and now we’ll only have like 12 hours

And I know that honestly all this stuff is not a huge deal, I know that. But it kinda feels like it is. And I know that 3 days isn’t that much when we’re going to be in this house for like 30 years. But it kinda feels like it is. And I know that I should just be grateful we’re able to buy our dream house at just 30 and 32 years old respectively, and I am, but that doesn’t stop me from being cranky either.

All this to say, looks like there won’t be any house updates for another week. And in the meantime, I’ll be sitting around in my underwear until Friday because I only have 1 pair of pants unpacked.

And if by chance I do go out, and you see me out, and I look disheveled, I am. Because I’ve been wearing this shirt for like 2 days now, and I had to hand wash my one bra and it dried weird, and I’ve been in an empty house with 5 animals for far too long, and I’m freaking tired.